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The Centauri Republic - I Claudius

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  • The Centauri Republic - I Claudius

    Just watching I Claudius and saw the clear parallels with the Centauri plot thread. Not saying this is a bad thing.


    Londo - Tiberius

    Cartagia - Caligula

    Lord Refa - Sejauns

    Vir - Claudius

  • #2
    I went through the same recognition process when I saw 'I, Claudius', too. Great series (as is the B5 arc that it inspired), and wonderful for spotting young actors 'before they were famous'. Like my old University Chancellor, Patrick Stewart, back when he'd never sat in a Captain's (or X-logo-ed wheel-)chair, and still had hair!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
      I went through the same recognition process when I saw 'I, Claudius', too. Great series (as is the B5 arc that it inspired), and wonderful for spotting young actors 'before they were famous'. Like my old University Chancellor, Patrick Stewart, back when he'd never sat in a Captain's (or X-logo-ed wheel-)chair, and still had hair!
      Patrick Stewart's character's second in command. Is played by the guy who plays Gimli in the Lord of the rings.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by brian View Post
        Patrick Stewart's character's second in command. Is played by the guy who plays Gimli in the Lord of the rings.
        Otherwise know as John Rhys-Davies.
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        The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
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        • #5
          Yep. And Caligula is played by John Hurt. And Augustus is played by the mighty Brian Blessed. And Claudius is played by Derek Jacobi. And Bernard Hill of LOTR fame was in it too, though I don't remember the character.

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          • #6
            Would just like to say the I Claudius was made in the late 70s - unless you are discussing a remake.

            I know as this ancient soul went to the toga parties it inspired in our ancient history classes. Had a friend who did a great Claudius impersonation (in an all girls school this was a great feat), and I was great as Augusta. The endeavour to recreate the banquets was fun as well. Our teacher was a great believer in exploring history hands on.

            Needless to say, I agree that there are huge parallels in the story lines. Robert Graves based a lot of his story on Seutonius who the Julio-Claudian line was not a popular theme, politics of the post era and the fact he was a Republican of the old Roman style. Damn reading that was boring back then.

            Also B5 and I Claudius have parallels in current world events and the behaviour of some nations that are self imploding due to arrogance or trying to re-establish dead empires and departed territories. Just goes to show that history does repeat itself, and often
            Winged Heron
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            Last edited by Winged Heron; 09-06-2008, 04:44 AM.
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            • #7
              Having read the books (but not seen the miniseries), I see some of the parallels. I'd disagree with Londo = Tiberius, though. Tiberius is an idiot who doesn't really give a crap about his country - quite unlike Londo, whatever his faults may be.
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              • #8
                the mighty Brian Blessed
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Winged Heron View Post
                  Robert Graves based a lot of his story on Seutonius who the Julio-Claudian line was not a popular theme, politics of the post era and the fact he was a Republican of the old Roman style.
                  Unfortunately, Suetonius' work is regarded by historians as having too much hearsay and unverified opinions in it (and Suetonius as a republican at a time when Rome was an Empire for more than a 100 years?). Graves then also made choices whether to follow ancient sources.

                  In the end, it makes for a fascinating, even if not accurate reading.

                  As for parallels: while the Centauri Republic is indeed partly based on the Roman Empire (with the same dichotomy both had in their names: both had autocratic emperors ruling over a senate, yet both were called republic) the characters in "I, Claudius" aren't paralled in B5.

                  -- Claudius was always around to witness the happenings around the emperor, while Vir came to loose his naivite rather late in life (even more after the series in the Centauri trilogy novel happenings).

                  -- Cartagia might seem to be like Caligula, but Cartagia was insane even before the ascension (that's why people around Refa thought they could handle him) while Caligula's insanity to him came after becoming Emperor (or did Grave change this? I forgot)

                  -- Seianus was much more powerful than Refa ever was. We never saw that Refa was somebody who controlled the Emperor or was the de facto ruler.

                  But perhaps you all meant different parallels?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dr Maturin View Post
                    DIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
                    Indeed!

                    Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
                    ...As for parallels: while the Centauri Republic is indeed partly based on the Roman Empire (with the same dichotomy both had in their names: both had autocratic emperors ruling over a senate, yet both were called republic) the characters in "I, Claudius" aren't paralled in B5.

                    -- Claudius was always around to witness the happenings around the emperor, while Vir came to loose his naivite rather late in life (even more after the series in the Centauri trilogy novel happenings).

                    -- Cartagia might seem to be like Caligula, but Cartagia was insane even before the ascension (that's why people around Refa thought they could handle him) while Caligula's insanity to him came after becoming Emperor (or did Grave change this? I forgot)

                    -- Seianus was much more powerful than Refa ever was. We never saw that Refa was somebody who controlled the Emperor or was the de facto ruler.

                    But perhaps you all meant different parallels?
                    I'm pretty sure the way the innocent, bumbling Vir, the last person in the Royal Court anyone would expect to become Emperor, ending up the last one standing after all the strife and coming into the throne against all the odds, only to turn out to be the only one actually any good at the job after all, is a very clear parallel with the innocent, bumbling Claudius, the last person etc, etc.

                    In I, Claudius, Caligula is quite clearly portrayed as villainous, perverted and at the very least not entirely sane in a normal way even before he comes to the throne (from childhood even), though he only goes completely off the deep end after he becomes Emperor. However, since we see nothing of Cartagia before he's Emperor, the period of rule is the only time we can compare them. As both are played as paranoid, delusional, whimsical and charming yet dangerously fickle and callously violent, with grand delusions of Godhood and a complete disregard for mundane reality and the governance of their people, who are permitted to rule as they will because no-one has the courage to gainsay them and around whom advisers like Londo and Claudius are only able to remain alive through carefully humouring their insanity and manipulatively playing on their delusions, I'd say there is a very clear parallel.

                    I don't remember any characters from I, Claudius that parallel Londo though, to any great degree. After all, JMS was inspired by I, Claudius, not simply plagiarising it wholecloth and changing the names!

                    EDIT: FYI I'm referring specifically to the seventies teleplays - the only version I'm familiar with and the version JMS has seen and noted that he was inspired in the writing of the Centauri Prime storylines by.
                    raw_bean
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                    Last edited by raw_bean; 09-08-2008, 01:32 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
                      I'm pretty sure the way the innocent, bumbling Vir, the last person in the Royal Court anyone would expect to become Emperor, ending up the last one standing after all the strife and coming into the throne against all the odds, only to turn out to be the only one actually any good at the job after all, is a very clear parallel with the innocent, bumbling Claudius, the last person etc, etc.
                      You're right on that. I would only add that both of them have also done things they are not very proud of.

                      Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
                      In I, Claudius, Caligula is quite clearly portrayed as villainous, perverted and at the very least not entirely sane in a normal way even before he comes to the throne (from childhood even), though he only goes completely off the deep end after he becomes Emperor.
                      You are right of course -- I mixed up the historical (what little we can tell with some certainty) with the "I, Claudius" one.

                      Originally posted by raw_bean View Post
                      EDIT: FYI I'm referring specifically to the seventies teleplays - the only version I'm familiar with and the version JMS has seen and noted that he was inspired in the writing of the Centauri Prime storylines by.
                      Thank you. I read it only once around ten years ago -- perhaps time to read it again!
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                      • #12
                        When my Dad and I watched the DVDs, I think I remember him saying he had the book as well, I may have to borrow it.

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